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Definition of the verb engage

What does engage mean as a doing word?

Engage is one of the top 1000 most common verbs in the English language.

verb - inflections: engaged | engaging | engages

  1. carry out or participate in an activity; be involved in
    • example: They engaged in a discussion
    • lexical domain: Activities - verbs of political and social activities and events
    • synonyms of engage: prosecute / pursue
    • more generic words: act / move = perform an action, or work out or perform
    • more specific words:
  2. consume all of one's attention or time
  3. engage or hire for work
  4. ask to represent; of legal counsel
    • lexical domain: Activities - verbs of political and social activities and events
    • more generic words: employ / hire = engage or hire for work
  5. give to in marriage
    • syntax:
      Syntactic formulaExample for the syntactic formula
      [Agent] [Verb] [Patient, plural]John opposed the two ideas
      [Patient, plural] [Verb]John and Mary are engaged
      [Patient, plural] [Verb] [Adverb]Eggs mix well | The pieces interconnect easily | These computers connected well
      [Patient 1 - concrete object] [Verb] [Adverb] with [Patient 2]Folk songs alternate well with pop songs
    • lexical domain: Communication - verbs of telling, asking, ordering, singing
    • synonyms of engage: affiance / betroth / plight
    • more generic word: vow = make a vow
  6. get caught
    • example: make sure the gear is engaged
    • lexical domain: Change - verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.
    • antonym: disengage
    • more generic word: touch = make physical contact with, come in contact with
    • more specific word: lock = become rigid or immoveable
  7. carry on (wars, battles, or campaigns)
  8. hire for work or assistance
    • example: engage aid, help, services, or support
    • lexical domain: Possession - verbs of buying, selling, owning
    • synonym of engage: enlist
    • more generic words: procure / secure = get by special effort
    • more specific word: recruit = seek to employ
  9. engage for service under a term of contract
  10. keep engaged
    • example: engaged the gears
    • lexical domain: Contact - verbs of touching, hitting, tying, digging
    • synonyms of engage: lock / mesh / operate
    • antonym of engage: disengage
    • more generic words: displace / move = cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense
    • more specific words:
      • switch / throw / flip = cause to go on or to be engaged or set in operation
      • ride = keep partially engaged by slightly depressing a pedal with the foot

Alternative definition of the verb engage


  1. [transitive] To engross or hold the attention of (someone); to keep busy or occupied.
  2. [transitive] To draw into conversation.
  3. [transitive] To attract, to please; [archaic] to fascinate or win over (someone).
  4. [transitive] To enter into conflict with (an enemy).
  5. [intransitive] To enter into battle.
  6. [transitive] To arrange to employ or use (a worker, a space, etc).
  7. To mesh or interlock (of machinery, especially a clutch).
  8. [intransitive] To enter into (an activity), to participate (construed with [term, in]).
  9. [intransitive] To guarantee or promise (to do something).
  10. [transitive] To bind through legal or moral obligation (to do something, especially to marry) (usually in passive).
  11. [obsolete, transitive] To pledge, pawn (one's property); to put (something) at risk or on the line; to mortgage (houses, land).


  1. "Engage" is a composition.
    • music and lyrics by Sho
  2. "Engage" is a musical album of PAX217.
    • released on (12 years ago)
  3. "Engage" a.k.a. "Engagé!" is a musical album of Pépé et sa guitare.


"Engage" is a film.

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Engage

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewMOVED TO CREATE (2013)

We are always creating Now we can create consciously by Julie Delene

ENGAGE is the phase when you reach maximum activity. Similarly, the fire element describes a stage of peak power, and the season of summer which creates more expansion and connections. This phase bringsjoy, passion, light and warmth.

Google previewThe Selection From the Russell Sage Foundation

A beginner with a missionary spirit may feel that the social work in which to engage is that in which volunteers are fewest and the pressure of work heaviest. But this is not the best way of accomplishing one's mission. Go first where good habits ...

Google previewPansegrouw's Crossword Dictionary (1994)

by Louisa Pansegrouw

engage. in. loud. argument. endearing adorable, attractive, charming, engaging, lovable, sweet, winsome endeavour aim, aspire, attempt, essay, seek, strive, struggle, try, undertake, work endemic congenital, hereditary, inbom, inbred, ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Law and Society (2007)

American and Global Perspectives by David Scott Clark

Strained individuals may engage in crime to reduce or escape from the strains they are experiencing (for instance, they steal the money they need, or run away from ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Women and Gender (2001)

Sex Similarities and Differences and the Impact of Society on Gender by Judith Worell

Pediatrician Michael Yogman, studying parents interacting with infants from two weeks to six months of age, found that fathers were more likely than mothers to engage in tactile, arousing, unpredictable games, often involving limb movement; ...

Google previewThe International Encyclopedia of Primatology, 3 Volume Set (2017)

by Agust?n Fuentes

NATALIA REAGAN BOAS Network, United States Primates, especially human primates, engage in a wide range of copulatory postures. In mammals, the dorsoventral position is widely used, as in primates. However, nonhuman primates, like ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Engage

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Usage statistics about engage

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English from the later part of the 20th century, both spoken and written.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb engage:


Comparison of usage frequency between the verb engage and its most common antonym:


Photos about Engage

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If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of time to engage text on cubes on wooden backgroundSmall photo of Time to Engage placard with night lights on backgroundSmall photo of ENGAGE word made with building blocksSmall photo of Clocks and phrase TIME TO ENGAGE on wooden backgroundSmall photo of the word of ENGAGE on building blocks conceptSmall photo of Time to Engage written in notebook with marker pen and glasses on wooden desk. Business Concept. Top view.Small photo of Composition with clock, toy cars and phrase TIME TO ENGAGE written on clipboard More...

Video language resources about Engage

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See also the pronunciation examples of Engage!

Quotes about Engage

Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber. (Plato)
more quotes about engage...

Scrabble value of E1N1G2A1G2E1

The value of this 6-letter word is 8 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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